Sunday, 11 October 2009

Ally Pally!


This is shameful: more than a whole month of silence (literarily speaking, that is).

When I told E that a blog was imminent, his response (which received an extremely raised eye-brow, resulting in effusive reiterations that 'it was only a joke!') was 'Oh! So I get a break, then, eh?' [and that was yesterday, so I figured it best to get off the proverbial backside and attempt to amuse even in the smallest way about at least one recent excursionary activity... the backside here is proverbial, because it's not like herself has just been sitting around. She has far surpassed the 95,000 miles-in-air mark, and she is busy, busy, busy!]
Our activity on Friday (mine and Clare's) was to excurse with some others from the Norfolk Yarns shop and some WI (Women's Institute) ladies to Alexandra Palace in London for the Knitting and Stitching Show. The coach, pictured in middle below, left Castle Meadow at 8am (sharp) and made it home around 9pm. ...of course Bear went... What a silly question, Auntie!

Oh my Lord, one would never imagine that it could be so giddily & completely joyously fatiguing to hunt, smoosh, pet and drool over yarn, silk, buttons, beads, and envy creative people, etc., etc., etc. To put it in perspective: this was not a little car boot sale of Arts&Crap and about 10 times as large as the Ark-la-tex Gun Show ('Sure as shootin', I'll probably see you there!'). There was an awful lot of 'sqeeeee' noise-making, as this is how Clare and I communicate a lot of the time [this is something akin to a squeal mixed with a squeak; generally, a sign of happiness.].

It seems more tasteful not to bore with descriptions of every hoarding decision that we made (and safer, too. The Holy Bible says that we should not make our brother (or sister) stumble, and I certainly wouldn't want to cause any readers to sin -- either through jealously or judgementalism over my silk purchases. Or my yarn. Or the alpaca fleece.)

Ahem... anyhoo, it has come to my sociological attention (totally should have taken Soc101 with Dr. Fisch a year earlier), that although knitters are by and large a friendly and welcoming segment of the population, stitchers of other persuasions (a lot of them; NOT all. I know some lovely needlepointers) are rude, self-absorbed shrews. It is inconceivable that cute little old biddies (and large ones with frizzy hair, who aren't so cute) can charge right in front of one, knocking arm out of aim for what one was reaching; shove frequently past one in an aisle with a shrewdly placed shoulder; ram backwards into one, glare, and refuse to apologise. Shocking behaviour! [and one dares to wonder why rudeness has become de rigeur... if the aged do it.]

Also on the sociological note: there were an awful lot of Americans there selling wares... this seems to be a productive route into the UK. A couple from Texas were selling Buffalo Gold (admittedly their graphics are not so great on the site, and the yarn kind of looks like buffalo chips -- titter -- but the yarn is amazingly soft and smooshy). I do declare; The Colonists seem to be bringing the 'coolness' of knitting to the Motherland! [It even made the Daily Wail -- I mean 'Mail' -- this week.]

However, there was more than enough inspiration to make Clare and myself wonder why the hecks we haven't been able to figure out a way to turn our obsession into sustenance [this is a knitted 3-D 'painting']. We may have figured out a method, though -- there was a definite dearth in spinning accoutrements (other than fleece, which we happily hoarded). No, we mean bobbins, lazy kates, wheels, spindles, and those crazy pointy Disney princess hats [well, perhaaaaaps the last item wouldn't sell so well, but as one might ask 'What good is a dinghy if you haven't got a paddle?', likewise 'What good is a truckload of fleeces if you haven't got a pair of carders?']. So... think, think, think.

As at events of this kind (or just generally similar to my many previous whims), something caught my eye. Extreme Knitting. This is knitting on a LARGE scale. Large doormat-size rugs start at £200 (those are the ones with silk in the mix). Then there are the ones with strips of fabric (a fabric ball costs between £7-12). Many fabric balls in a willow basket is an unusual and alluring sight. Oh, there is just so much to knit! I am hooked (pun probably intended).

M. Townsend had posted this fascinating link on my Facebook wall last week, actually; but, my defeatist thoughts had merely turned to self-pity over not having gone to art school and/or dyed my hair purple or blue and/or been Dutch and/or clever and minimalist. But then, on Friday there was a 'Squeeee!' and magically I have developed a slight blue tinge and a smoke-stack on my head: 'I think I can; I think I can!'

Showing the only moments of self control all day, no needles came home with me (the crochet hooks were £12.95); but I happen to know the most wonderful Enabler (who also cooks, as evidenced in photo background).

E made these this afternoon in less than 2 hours. AND had the added skill and patience to throw a crochet hook into the creative mix as well! [I planted some pansies.]

Clare will be so pleased when she gets back from hols in Edinburgh!

Now, I have the legitimised capacity to start hoarding fabric. Well, no. My plan is to actually knit a rug for the study to cover that hideous carpet. And then, who knows -- £200 doormats by commission...? An added incentive is, no doubt, toning of triceps -- everyone wins. Hoorah!

Now, I had best get back to my hoard...
(if one is giddy on yarn spastickisity, this little ensemble looks like a little face with a hat. If you squint a bit, there is a mouth and moustache. Actually, now that I look at it again, he looked better when there was less knitting done.)

Will report on auction (Sat) next. Another incredible outing!